Getting a copy of your marriage certificate

Supreme Court

If you want to get a divorce, you need a copy of your marriage certificate. But it has to be an original or a certified true copy of the registration of marriage from Vital Statistics (an office run by the provincial government). The court won't accept the marriage certificate you got at the place you were married.

If you were married:

  • in BC, see the Marriage Certificates page of the BC government website to find out how to order the certificate you need
  • in another province or territory, contact the office that deals with vital statistics there
  • in another country, contact the office that deals with marriage records in the country where you were married

Ask them to send your original marriage certificate or a certified copy to you.

Usually you need to pay for this. In BC, a certified copy of a marriage registration costs $50. You’ll also have to pay for delivery.

File your marriage certificate at the start of your divorce case.

What if you can't get a copy of your marriage certificate?

If you can't get your marriage certificate before your case starts, write that on the court forms and say why you couldn’t get it. You might be able to file your marriage certificate later if the court registrar agrees you had a good reason for not filing it sooner.

If the court registrar doesn’t agree you had a good reason for not filing it, your case might be delayed until you file it.

What if your marriage certificate isn't in English?

If your marriage certificate isn't in English, you need to get it translated by a certified translator. Ask the translator to give you an Affidavit of Translation. File the original marriage certificate and the Affidavit of Translation with a copy of the marriage certificate and the English translation attached as exhibits at the court registry. The Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia has a list of certified translators.

If you were married in Quebec and your marriage certificate is in French, the registry might need you to get it translated into English. Call your nearest Supreme Court registry to find out more about this.